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What is Mouthing Oil Pulling and What Does it Accomplish?

By: Jenn Moss

You may have heard about the oral health fad going around, oil pulling. You may even be a little confused like I was when I first heard of it. Why would someone put a lot of oil in their mouth? Is oil just not for cooking with? Well, it turns out that swishing oil in the mouth may be beneficial for your oral health, although the reasoning remains a bit unclear, there is reason to believe that it pulls bad bacteria out of the mouth. This form of self-care is rooted in Ayurvedic medicine, alternative medicine with origins from India.

The Basics

Which Oil Should Be Used?

Since so much oil is being swished around the mouth, you must find one that is of good quality. It is recommended that you use sesame, sunflower, or coconut oil. You should also invest in a bottle that is unrefined, cold-pressed, organic and contains no chemical residues.

Is there a Specific Technique?

Because of its roots in Ayurvedic medicine, there are some rules to follow to complete this ritual successfully. It should be done when the mouth is relaxed, taking a spoonful of the oil in the mouth and swishing it around 20 minutes, making sure that the oil is reaching all parts of the mouth. Then brush your teeth afterward like normal.

Some of the Benefits

  1. May decrease risk of tooth decay
  2. May prevent bad breath, corrects bad breath
  3. May soothe throat dryness
  4. May heal cracked lips
  5. May reduce inflammation and improve gum health

A great positive about this ritual is that it is a cost-effective solution to dental care. So often you leave the dentist office owing thousands of dollars for work that you never wanted, and that is highly painful. Of course, if your dental problems are very severe, you should see your dentist as you normally would for adequate help. However, something like bad breath may be helped by this method without medical intervention.

If you find that you experience problems with any of the things mentioned above, perhaps you give oil pulling a try. This coupled with Western medicine practices may be great for you if you do not feel comfortable relying solely on alternative medicine.